Lincoln biographies: The latest
President Obama's interest in Lincoln has coincided with the bicentennial celebration of his birth an event that brings forth a stack of books taller than a stovepipe hat.
In Lincoln's Hand
By Harold Holzer and Joshua Wolf Shenk
Description: Facsimiles of original manuscripts of Lincoln's speeches and letters, adorned with short essays by presidents and pundits.
Choice Trivia: Lincoln advised a court-martialed Peeping Tom that voyeurism was ''not of great enormity, and yet greatly to be avoided.''
Bottom Line: Fresh, surprising commentary see Conan O'Brien on the Seinfeldian wit of Honest Abe's telegrams sets off Lincoln's still-inspiring words.
EW Grade: B+
''They Have Killed Papa Dead''
By Anthony S. Pitch
Description: A meticulously researched narrative of the Lincoln assassination, from the conspiracy and murder through the ensuing manhunt and trial.
Choice Trivia: A gypsy palm-reader predicted that John Wilkes Booth would come to a bad end.
Bottom Line: Pitch turns the tragedy into a great American true-crime story, complete with a charming sociopath, hard-boiled detectives, dank settings, and grisly forensics.
EW Grade: B+
By Ronald C. White Jr.
Description: This massive bio highlights Lincoln's development as a writer and thinker struggling with the racist dogmas of his day.
Choice Trivia: Union general Joseph Hooker's fondness for female camp-followers inspired a popular term for practitioners of the oldest profession.
Bottom Line: Lincoln's intellect shines through in this portrait of a man groping toward ''a new Union and a new humanity.''
EW Grade: A-